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Plasma cleaning & plasma surface modification

Plasma process quality assurance
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Quality assurance test equipment

For our quality assurance and to support our process development as well as the materials processing contracts various test methods and measurement techniques are employed to ensure we comply with the relevant standards and customer specifications.

Measurement Systems and test methods.

Tensile testing machine

Tensile testing machines are used to determine material characteristics and the production of tensile strength and elongation diagrams. Various stretch, compression and bending tests enable us to assess the effects on parts or materials such as polymers or elastomers. Additionally, we can assess which effectiveness. Plasma activation or plasma priming has on improving the adhesive bond strengths or paint adhesion.
Tensile tester used for quality control of the processes to improve adhesion

Microscope

For the inspection of plasma modified surfaces. With the light microscope changes in the structure after plasma treating can be observed. After plasma treatments to improve bonding the break in the joint can be assessed after destructive testing. To observe if the failure was cohesive or adhesive for example
Microscope for examining material surfaces

Surface hardness tester

Used to test the scratch resistance and abrasion resistance from parts and materials. Testing to DIN 55656:2014-12 by sliding a point with a defined loading across the surface of the test piece where the depth of the scratch in the surface indicates the surface hardness. With this test method we can assess the improvement achieved by plasma coating or surface modification.
surface hardness tester

IR Camera

An infrared cameras gives the intensity of the Infra-red over the surface of the work piece. This corresponds to the temperature. Plasma transmits energy and hence warmth to the work piece thus we can get a visual record of homogenate from the warming from plasma.
Temperature monitoring with IR camera

Spectrum analyzer (plasma analyzer)

By analyzing the changes in color during the process or the color of the plasma it is possible to monitor the process on a continuous basis and detect changes. This makes it possible to optimize the process by examining the resulting data.
Spectrum Spectrum analyzer for plasma proces monitoring

Contact angle meter

To determine the surface energy of a material a small amount of fluid is applied to the surface of the work piece. The steepness of the angle of the drop surface is measured. This indicates the ability of the fluid to wet the surface. Many polymers have a very high contact angle due to their low surface energy. This indicates they will be difficult or impossible to print, bond or paint. After plasma activation the contact angle is normally flat indicating the workpiece can be printed, bonded or painted without problem.
Surface energy measuring

LABS Testing

A German term for paint repelling surfaces. The paint pearls away from the surface due to surface contamination. Often referred to as orange peel effect. All traces of substances such as silicones must be removed. Plasma cleaning is especially effective for this application, especially in small angles and gaps that fluid cleaners may not reach. The LABS test offers evidence that the plasma cleaning was effective and the parts can be painted without problem. With specified solvents the offending substances are dissolved from the surface, extracted and then coated on to a defined surface. This is then painted after drying. The resulting surface is examined for problems. We carry out these tests in accordance to PV 3.10.7, VDMA 24364 or customer specific specifications.
Pait wetting test

Cross cut test

Standard test for determining the adhesion of paint to a substrate as detailed in DIN EN ISO 2409 or ASTM D3359-02. A standard tool is used to make 6 cuts that penetrate through the paint to the surface of the test piece at right angles to form a grid pattern. Particles are then removed with a soft brush. An adhesive tape is then applied to the grid and quickly pulled off. The amount of paint removed from the surface and adhering to the tape is assed and compared to the specification or used to determine the improvement after plasma treating.
Paint adhesion test